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David Reade Q.C. succeeds in EAT for SNR Denton in an important appeal for Administrators

David Reade Q.C. appeared for SNR Denton in SNR Denton v Kirwan. The President gave Judgment on 10th July allowing SNR Denton’s appeal against a decision of the ET that there had been a Service Provision Transfer (“SPC”) to the firm. SNR Denton had been instructed by the Administrators in the Jarvis PLC administration.  Part of SNR Denton’s work included legal work associated with the disposal of PFI contracts. The ET held that there had been a transfer in relation to this work, which had been carried out prior to the administration by Ms Kirwan.

The President considered the relationship, under the Insolvency Act, between administrators and any professionals whose services they retain. On the facts of this case he allowed the appeal but considered that there may be circumstances in which there could be a SPC transfer to a professional instructed by an administrator. Such a finding could leave professionals open to claims for unfair dismissal and information and consultation claims under TUPE,  care will therefore be required to avoid these situations. The written Judgment, which will be posted here when available, will be required reading for insolvency practitioners and those instructed by them.

A full analysis of the case will be posted with the Judgment.

The President also considered the proper construction and application of the exclusion where the client, in a potential SPC, intends that the activities will, following the service provision change, be carried out by the transferee other than in connection with a single specific event or task of short-term duration.

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